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Geopolitics and visuality : sighting the Darfur conflict.

Campbell, D. (2007) 'Geopolitics and visuality : sighting the Darfur conflict.', Political geography., 26 (4). pp. 357-382.


In the many considerations of visual culture in geography, there are few works concerned with the visual culture of contemporary geopolitics. In seeking to rectify this lacuna, this paper outlines elements of a research project to consider the way visuality is a pivotal assemblage in the production of contemporary geopolitics. Signalling the need for a conceptual exploration of the importance of vision and visuality to all forms of knowledge (rather than just those associated with or manifested in specific visual artefacts like pictures), the paper argues that understanding the significance of visuality for geopolitics involves recasting visual culture as visual economy. This enables the constitutive relations of geopolitics and visuality to shift from the social construction of the visual field to the visual performance of the social field. This argument is illustrated through an examination of some of the documentary photography and photojournalism covering the most recent outbreak of war in Darfur, Sudan, beginning in the summer of 2003. Exploring the tension in these pictures between the established disaster iconography of ‘Africa’ and the desire to image genocidal violence and war crimes, considering in particular the way photography captures identity, the argument concludes with reflections on the way the visual performance of the social field that is Darfur structures our encounters with others.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Geopolitics, Visuality, Photojournalism, Identity, Darfur.
Full text:Full text not available from this repository.
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Record Created:22 Aug 2007
Last Modified:04 Feb 2011 12:03

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